The most coveted of all Falcons has traditionally been the mighty 1971 XY Falcon GTHO Phase III !
It’s incredible race heritage, especially it’s dominance of Mount Panorama in Bathurst, makes this the centre piece of Australian motorsport history and will keep it as the most coveted. In fact, Jeff Thomson’s car holds the current record for the highest price paid for an Australian car and the highest price paid for a Ford Falcon when it sold at Lloyds for $1,030,000.
Now stand back as that record is about to be blown away by the GTHO successor to the Phase III, the 1972 Falcon XA GTHO Phase IV!
Of course it’s now recorded in history that the Super Car Scare of the same year brought about the demise of the Phase IV, as well as Holden’s XU2 and Chryslers’ 340ci Magnum powered Charger.
It was the headline in the papers, and an article written by a fame seeking journalist that declared 160MPH Super Cars were being planned for the Australian roads that put fear into the Government. Not the public mind you, but the Government who saw it fit to ban these cars from that year on. In fact in the debate in parliament, it was the Falcon GTHO Phase IV that was actually mentioned by name as being the bad boy!
Holden’s plan for the XU2 hadn’t materialised yet, so they were least impacted, however Chrysler and Ford had real cars ready for the road (and track), so they took the biggest hit of the ban.
Ford was quite clever though, and decided to offer the parts of the Phase IV as a Build Option with the XA Falcon. Known as the RPO, the parts that had caused fear in the Government were snuck out the door on `standard’ GT Falcons. Those who knew what they were buying, knew how to buy !
But that’s a story for another time. This genuine, 1972 XA Falcon GTHO Phase IV, is one of 3 that were race prepped and the only one that remains un-restored and in absolute mint condition with just over 4,000kms on the odometer.
Currently sitting on a bod of $A1,560,000 with just over a day to run, it is expected that the car will fetch a record for an Australian car and possibly exceed $3,000,000!
Here’s Lot 6 from Lloyds Auctions;
- 1972 Ford Falcon XA GTHO Phase IV
- Year: 1972
- Make: Ford
- Model: Falcon XA GTHO
- Series: Phase IV
- Body: Sedan
- Odometer: Indicating TBA
- Engine: 351C Manual
- Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
- Colour: Brambles Red
- VIN/Chassis No: JG33MC78489K
- ENG No: JG33MC78489
- Seats: 5
- Description/extras: You’ve heard the stories. You’ve seen pictures. This is the reality.
This is the Ford Falcon XA GTHO Phase IV, the only car to make front page news, be mentioned in parliament and change the face of motor racing in Australia forever.
Bathurst 1971. The XY GTHO Phase III dominates qualifying for the The Great Race with eight of the top 10 grid positions wearing the Blue Oval. 130 laps of Mt Panorama later Phase III drivers make it a Ford lockout on the podium with Allan Moffat on the top step. Ford rules Bathurst one again and Falcons fly out of showrooms across Australia.
1972 sees Ford, Holden and Chrysler hell-bent on bringing bigger, better, faster cars to race on Sunday to help sell the road-going equivalents on Monday. The fight is on.
Holden has the LJ Torana but now with a V8. Chrysler looks to the 340ci V8 to boost its Charger and Ford has a brand new model with a more aerodynamic body to slice through the air down Conrod Straight. The ‘Big Three’ are hungry for racing glory and they are putting everything into making the fastest cars they can.
160MPH ‘Super Cars’ Soon screamed the headlines on 25 June 1972. A week later, the Torana XU2
would be a dream, the 340ci Charger would be forgotten and the XA GTHO Phase IV would be dead.
“Bullets on Wheels” was what the secretary for the N.S.W Minister for Transport whispered directly into the ear-hole of a journalist looking for a scoop who spewed the message onto the front page of the daily newspapers. This was ‘The Super Car Scare’ and for better or worse it changed Aussie performance cars forever.
This XA GTHO is one of only three race cars made before the Super Car Scare forced Ford to abandon its plans to continue the legend of the GTHO Phase cars and dominate racing in Australia. Built in Ford’s Special Vehicles unit known as ‘Lot 6’ these three Phase IV cars were going to be driven by Allan Moffat and Fred Gibson with one car as a spare. Sadly this never happened.
The rarity of the Phase IV has given the car mythical status and now it sits at the pinnacle of Aussie muscle cars with a legend, a back story, and a value that is unparalleled.